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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 08.30.11] movie review news action thriller mystery noir

Year: 2011
Director: Tony Krantz
Writer: Erik Jendresen
Amazon Link
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

The Big Bang is madness. Absolute madness! It's what you get when you start with a noir story, one that writer Erik Jendresen wrote as an homage to Raymond Chandler, and infuse it with the particle physics. I kid you not.

It starts in a room with a man (Antonio Banderas) explaining to three other men (Thomas Kretschmann, William Fichtner, Delroy Lindo) we later find out are cops, the events that have landed him beat up, blind and handcuffed. His name is Ned Cruz and he's an LA detective who was hired by an ex-con to track down a retired stripper-turned-penpal he's fallen in love with. The story unfolds as Cruz details the events and clues that led him to a little town in New Mexico where he finds the mysterious woman, who isn't actually a woman, a batch of blood diamonds and a rich man who has bought the town and built a particle collider because he's obsessed with the so-called god particle.

This marriage of ideas sounds pretty bad on paper. Heck, it even sounds like failure waiting to happen when Jendresen and director Tony Krantz talk about it in the film's making of featurette, but there's some crazy magic at play in this weird tale that makes it all work. Some of the credit goes to this cast, particularly the cops and Banderas who play this completely straight faced, selling the mystery but there are also an assortment of passing performances that had me laughing with glee.

There's Snoop Dogg as a porn director who compares himself to Hitchcock, James Van Der Beek as the highest paid actor in Hollywood, Rebecca Mader as an out-of-luck actress that spends her days acting as a crazed hospital patient for interns to practice and Sam Elliott as a surfer turned computer billionaire with a passion for physics. A few of these appearances are unnecessary but the majority of them are of some importance to the ever thickening plot; the fact that they're all so strange is just one of the film's many wonderful quirks.

And there are many other quirks, most of them related to the mixing of two very unlikely subjects. It results in some bizarre discussions about science, an even stranger sex scene where the partners discuss atoms and the big bang while working their way to climax, some questionable special effects and one unbelievable finale where Cruz outruns a cracking earth Roland Emmerich 2012 style. It's hilarious though not quite as funny as Sam Elliot's "Oh shit" look when he realizes his collider has malfunctioned and he's about to be blown to smithereens.

The Big Bang isn't particularly good (though the soundtrack from Johnny Marr is indisputably brilliant) – the script is a bit too full of itself and the over reaching physics talk feels like Jendresen is trying to get at some deeper meaning of life and being in some "clever" way that doesn't work - but the bad rolls into the good (and sometimes even knee slapping awesome) for one hell of a good time. Many will shake their heads at the trailer and curse anyone crazy enough to give this a whirl but the curious who take the chance might find themselves completely enthralled by this B-movie gem. I did and I can't wait to share it with others.

The Big Bang has been available on DVD and Blu-ray since May 24th but is finally seeing Canadian home theatre release today.

DVD Extras: Audio commentary with director Tony Krantz and one of the film's co-producers, a collection of extended scenes and a great 20 minute making of featurette. On a side note, I watched this with the subtitles turned on and discovered that they are completely sanitized. Can't figure out the reason for that but there you have it.

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agentorange (8 years ago) Reply

Johnny Marr did the soundtrack? Crazy.

I gotta see this.


Marina (8 years ago) Reply

It's really crazy and sometimes just plain strange but it's such a good time. I can't wait to see it again. Seriously.


Kimamay (8 years ago) Reply

When I first started watching this film, I thought,"This director must have synaesthesia."Then later in the film, one of the characters is said to have synaesthesia (the genius physicist).I disagree with the description in the movie,though. I would highly recommend this film to any synaesthete with a cross between emotions and colors. The lighting and background colors are very vivid and artistic. These scenes alternate with the interrogation scene which is all black, white and grays,(Except for the blood for added emphasis). It was a perfect portrayal of a synaesthete with depression...(Hence the lack of color) At the start, I wasn't sure I would like it, but I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

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